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Council Election Call 2021

Notice is hereby given that an election will be held from Monday, March 8, 2021, to Monday, April 12, 2021, to elect 23 representatives to the College Council, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 293/00 under the Ontario College of Teachers Act.

A message from the Deputy Registrar

The election for the ninth Council of the Ontario College of Teachers has begun.

Information in this issue of Professionally Speaking and the next two will help you to:

You can nominate someone by completing an electronic application online. You will also be able to vote electronically beginning on Monday, March 8, 2021 — provided you are a member in good standing as of Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A ballot in the Members' Area of the College's website will list all the positions for which you can vote.

The list of qualified candidates will be posted on the College's website on January 8, 2021, along with a voter forum and candidate blogs. The March 2021 issue of Professionally Speaking will include voting information and detailed biographical information for each candidate. Candidate and voting information will also be available on the website for reference. Where possible, we will place ads in stakeholder publications.

An external auditor will oversee the process.

If you have a question about eligibility requirements, the nomination process or simply need more information, please call our election information line at 416.961.8800 (toll-free in Ontario 1.888.534.2222), ext. 558.

Chantal Bélisle, OCT
Deputy Registrar

Call for nominations

The College is accepting nominations for 23 elected Council positions. The deadline for nominations is Friday, November 27, 2020.

To serve on Council, you must:

To be nominated, you must meet all these requirements, except the one requiring you to resign a post in the organizations listed under "Exclusions."

As part of your nomination, you must complete an attestation agreeing to meet all the requirements.

Nominations can be completed online. Assistance is available by calling the election information line at  416.961.8800 (toll-free in Ontario  1.888.534.2222), ext. 558 or via email at  youdecide2021@oct.ca.

Exclusions remove possible conflicts of interest

Are you employed by or serve in an elected or appointed capacity with any of the 13 provincial organizations listed below? If so, you can run for Council but must resign your post and find employment suited to your nomination category before you take your place on Council.

Mark Election 2021 on your Calendar

Twenty-three College members will be elected to the ninth Council in 2021, in accordance with the following schedule:

August 2020: Notice of election and call for nominations published in the September edition of Professionally Speaking and posted on the College's website.

August 18, 2020: Nomination period opens. Online nomination process available on the College website.

November 27, 2020: Nomination period ends at 5 p.m. EST. Candidates must submit biographical information and completed nominations.

January 8, 2021: List of confirmed candidates posted on College's website; candidate blogs and voter forum available.

February 16, 2021: Candidate biographies and voting information published in the March edition of Professionally Speaking and posted on the College's website.

February 24, 2021: Members must be in good standing as of 5 p.m. EST to vote.

March 8, 2021: Eligible voters can cast their ballots on the College app and in the Members' Area of the College website.

April 12, 2021: Election day. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

April 13, 2021: Ballots tabulated, candidates notified.

April 14, 2021: Election results posted on the College's website and in the June issue of Professionally Speaking.

Who Serves on Council?

College members elect 23 of the 37 members of Council, the governing body of the Ontario College of Teachers.

Members are elected from Ontario's English, French, Catholic, and public elementary and secondary school systems, and serve three-year terms.

Principals and vice-principals, supervisory officers, private schools and faculties of education elect Council members to four of the 23 positions.

The provincial government appoints the remaining 14 members of Council from parents, various professions and the general public.

Objects of the College

The College's objects, as set out in the Ontario College of Teachers Act, are to:

In carrying out its objects, the College has a duty to serve and protect the public interest.

What a Council member does

Council ensures that policies are established in accordance with the College's objects as set out in the Ontario College of Teachers Act.

Council provides oversight and direction to the Registrar, the College's chief executive officer.

During their three-year term, Council members protect the public interest, serve their profession, grow as leaders and develop skills in board governance.

The Chair of Council is a full-time position and is responsible for representing Council publicly as well as presiding over Council and Executive Committee meetings. There are at least four Council meetings each year. Each Council member attends Council meetings and serves on at least two committees, each of which meets three or four times a year. All committees of Council are composed of elected and appointed members. Committees such as Accreditation and Discipline require additional time to serve on panels. Most committee chairs also serve on the Executive Committee, which meets about five times a year.

On average, Council members dedicate 25 to 60 days a year to Council business, depending on their committee assignments. Meetings are held in Toronto.

The College provides thorough education sessions to orient new Council members to the College and its activities, current issues, policies and procedures before they assume their Council and committee responsibilities.

The College reimburses an elected member's employer for the member's absence while attending Council and committee meetings during regular workdays. If summer meetings are required, the member is compensated directly at a rate of $150 per day. Travel, accommodation and meal expenses are reimbursed.

Understand committee roles

Three videos are being created to help you better understand Council's governance roles and responsibilities. You can watch them at oct-oeeo.ca/councilelection2021.

The first provides an overview of the roles of the Investigation, Discipline and Fitness to Practise committees. The second examines the responsibilities of the Standards, Accreditation and Accreditation Appeals committees. The third reviews the work of the Finance and Governance committees.

All Council and Committee members have a duty to serve the public interest and each committee has a mandate determined by the Ontario College of Teachers Act, regulations and bylaws.

What positions are you seeking?

A map outlining the various electoral regions for the Ontario College of Teachers 23 elected Council positions. Long description follows.

Each of the 23 elected positions represents a separate electoral category to ensure a balance of geographic, elementary, secondary and system perspectives. Each position also has its own nomination criteria.

There are:

To serve on Council, you must be in good standing with the College, reside in Ontario and — if you're seeking a regional or system seat — hold a regular teaching assignment in an elementary or secondary school.

All regional and system positions are open to full-time staff. Six of the regional positions are open to regular part-time or occasional teachers. Part-time and occasional teachers are eligible to serve if they teach for at least 10 days during each year of their term of office. A partial day of teaching is considered a full day for these purposes. If you are elected to a part-time position, you will need to remain employed and provide evidence of 10 teaching days each year to stay in office. If you are a guidance counsellor, librarian, mentor or consultant directed to supervise or co-ordinate subjects or programs, you are considered to be providing instructional services and are eligible to run for regional and system positions.

To be eligible to run for one of the category positions (principal/ vice-principal, supervisory officer, faculty of education and private school), you are required to be qualified for and employed in that position.

You are not eligible to serve on Council if you are employed by or are an elected or appointed official of any of the 13 organizations at the provincial level or serve as a president of one of these organizations at the local level. If you do occupy one of these positions, you may run for election but must resign your position and obtain the necessary employment before you can take your place on Council.

If you are a former employee of the Ontario College of Teachers, you are eligible to run for a position if at least 12 months have elapsed between when you last worked at the College and the start of the Council term on July 1, 2021. A College member who previously served on Council is eligible to run if at least three years has elapsed since they last served on Council.

You must be eligible to serve the entire three-year term of Council. Those who sign your nomination papers — your nominators — must meet the same eligibility requirements for the position.

You cannot stand for election for more than one position.

Regional Positions

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You can run for one of these 12 regional positions provided:

Southeast Region — PT/FT
Southeast Region — FT

The Southeast Region includes: Ottawa, Prescott, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Hastings, Lennox, Addington, Lanark, Renfrew, Leeds, Grenville, Frontenac and Prince Edward.

Southcentral Region — PT/FT
Southcentral Region — FT

The Southcentral Region includes: Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough, Clarington, Simcoe, Haliburton, Muskoka, Dufferin, Wellington, Peel (including Mississauga), Halton, Waterloo, Niagara and Hamilton.

Southwest Region — PT/FT
Southwest Region — FT

The Southwest Region includes: Brant, Essex, Lambton, Elgin, Middlesex, Huron, Perth, Bruce, Grey, Oxford, Haldimand, Norfolk and Chatham-Kent.

Central Region — PT/FT 
Central Region — FT

The Central Region includes: Toronto, York and Durham (excluding Clarington, which is in the Southcentral Region).

Northwest Region — PT/FT
Northwest Region — FT

The Northwest Region includes: Algoma, Cochrane, Kenora, Rainy River and Thunder Bay.

Northeast Region — PT/FT
Northeast Region — FT

The Northeast Region includes: Sudbury, Manitoulin, Timiskaming, Nipissing and Parry Sound.

System Positions

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If you are a College member who is not employed as a vice-principal, principal or supervisory officer, by a private school or by a faculty of education as a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, you are eligible to run for the provincewide position related to the system (reflecting English public, English Roman Catholic, French public and French Roman Catholic school systems) in which you are employed full time. You must be part of your employer's regular teaching staff.

English-Language Public Board Elementary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified elementary classroom teacher by an English-language public district school board, the Provincial Schools Authority or a school authority, other than a Roman Catholic school authority or a board of a secondary school district. You may not be employed in a French-language instructional unit.* You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the Primary or Junior division or in the first two years of the Intermediate division.

English-Language Public Board Secondary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified secondary classroom teacher by an English-language public district school board, public school authority or the Provincial Schools Authority. You may not be employed in a French-language instructional unit.* You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the last two years of the Intermediate division or in the Senior division.

English-Language Roman Catholic Board Elementary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified elementary classroom teacher by an English-language Roman Catholic district school board, or a Roman Catholic school authority and are not employed in a French-language instructional unit.* You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the Primary or Junior division or in the first two years of the Intermediate division.

English-Language Roman Catholic Board Secondary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified secondary classroom teacher by an English-language Roman Catholic district school board. You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the last two years of the Intermediate division or in the Senior division.

French-Language Roman Catholic Board Elementary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified elementary classroom teacher by a French-language Roman Catholic district school board or school authority and work in a French-language instructional unit.* You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the Primary or Junior division or in the first two years of the Intermediate division.

French-Language Roman Catholic Board Secondary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified secondary classroom teacher by a French-language Roman Catholic district school board. You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the last two years of the Intermediate division or in the Senior division.

French-Language Public Board Elementary or Secondary

You may run for this position if you are employed full time as a qualified elementary or secondary classroom teacher by a French-language public district school board or the Provincial Schools Authority at Centre Jules-Léger or a public school authority that operates a French-language instructional unit.* You are also required to hold the qualifications required to teach a course or class in the Primary, Junior, Intermediate or Senior division.

*French-language instructional units do not include immersion programs. If you are not certain about whether you are part of a French-language instructional unit, contact the election information line.

Category Positions

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If you are a College member who is qualified and employed in any of the following categories, you are eligible to run for the provincewide position related to your area of qualification and employment.

Principal/vice-principal

You may run for this position if you are qualified (holding Parts 1 and 2 of the Principal's Qualification Program) and employed as a principal or vice-principal and are not employed at a private school.

Faculty of Education

You may run for this position if you are employed by a postsecondary institution at a school or faculty of education offering programs accredited by the College and are in a tenured or tenure-track position.

Private school

You may run for this position if you are employed by a private school that has submitted to the Ministry of Education a current notice of intention to operate a private school. (Private school classroom teachers who are members of the College may also run for regional positions.)

Supervisory officer

You may run for this position if you are qualified and employed as a supervisory officer.

See the candidates in our March issue

Watch for the March 2021 issue of Professionally Speaking for a complete and alphabetized list of all candidates by position.

Candidate information will also be posted to the College's website by February 16, 2021.

THIS WILL INCLUDE:

Candidate and nominators' names must reflect what is on the College's public register.

You will also be able to learn more about those running for election in the categories relevant to you via the College's website, candidate blogs and an online voter forum.

The list of confirmed candidates will appear on oct.ca on January 8, 2021, along with candidate blogs and the online forum.

Council decisions shape the teaching profession

The colleagues you nominate in the 2021 Council election — 23 positions are now open — will be responsible for helping to shape the future of Ontario education in the public interest.

The College is accepting nominations until November 27, 2020.

Nominees are people just like you. They share the same professional dedication and commitment to providing quality learning experiences for students. And, like you, they care about professionalism in teaching.

If you haven't considered running for Council before, think about it now. You can:

As a member of Council, you — or a colleague you nominate and help to elect — might serve on the Accreditation Committee. You could directly influence the classroom readiness of new teachers who will work alongside you for years to come via decisions that affect the preparation they receive in pre-service programs.

Or you might serve on an Investigation, Discipline or Fitness to Practise committee and be a key figure in how the College responds to complaints about individual members.

The Investigation Committee determines how the College responds to the 150-plus complaints it receives annually. Discipline Committee or Fitness to Practise Committee panels hear allegations about more than 100 members per year to determine if they will be allowed to continue in the profession.

Council members serving on the Standards of Practice and Education Committee are responsible for ensuring that ethical and practice standards influence the quality of teaching in Ontario.

When Professionally Speaking  drops into your mailbox, you are receiving an award-winning magazine whose overall editorial policy and content have been reviewed and approved by the Editorial Board, which comprises Council members. The board reviews all material gathered for each issue and determines what is published. 

As a Council member you will play an active role in reviewing the content of Additional Qualification courses and a vast range of issues concerning teachers' qualifications. You will also participate in decisions on issues such as the transparency of the College's processes. 

You can expect to discuss the role the College has in advancing the teaching profession. Each year, you will also, either as a member of the Finance Committee or as a member of Council, decide on the annual budget and the membership fee that funds the College's work.

These are important topics for every College member. You already debate many of these issues regularly with your colleagues. At least one might give you pause to consider actively participating.

It's your College. Run, nominate, vote. You owe it to yourself as a professional, to your colleagues and to the teaching profession to play your part.

Nominees required to attest

When you stand for Council election, your nomination package must include a signed statement indicating that you are eligible for the position and that the information in your submission is accurate.

You must attest that you are prepared to take the oath of office and to disclose whether you are employed by or an elected or appointed official of one of 13 excluded organizations. If you are, you must affirm that you are prepared to resign from any such position held at the local or provincial level and obtain the necessary employment required by the position you are seeking before taking office as a member of Council. 

Know the nomination requirements

If you're seeking nomination for one of the 23 available positions on Council, be mindful of the requirements.

  1. Review the nomination requirements carefully. The information you are asked to provide is specified in regulation and intended to help electors choose the best candidates.
  2. Acquire supporting signatures from at least 10 College members who are eligible to run for the position you are seeking. For example, if you are running for the English-Language Public Board Elementary position, you must have 10 or more people support your nomination who also qualify to run for that position. Please note: A member can nominate only one colleague per position. However, members can nominate other colleagues for any other position they are eligible to seek. The names and membership numbers of each of your nominators will be published in the March 2021 issue of Professionally Speaking.
  3. Submit your nomination no later than 5 p.m. EST on Friday, November 27, 2020. The College will review each nomination to ensure that the candidate and nominators meet the position requirements. Each candidate will receive written confirmation of receipt of their nomination. Nominees will be notified whether they are a confirmed candidate within 10 working days. A list of confirmed candidates will appear on the College's website in January 2021 and in Professionally Speaking's March 2021 issue. 

Learn more about the nomination process and eligibility requirements in the Question and Answer section.

You can also call the College's election information line at 416.961.8800 (toll-free in Ontario 1.888.534.2222), ext. 558 or send an email to youdecide2021@oct.ca.

Voting is easy

Voting in the 2021 Council election is easy because you will:

Additional rules

Oath/affirmation of office

Before they can take their seat on Council, elected members and provincial appointees must take an oath or affirmation. Failure to do so renders them ineligible to serve.

The College makes a Commissioner of Oaths available to swear in new Council members.

The oath/affirmation is:

I will faithfully and impartially, to the best of my knowledge and skill, perform the duties of a member of the Council of the College and any committees of the Council on which I sit.

In so doing, I will ensure that the guiding principle in the performance of my duties is the duty to serve and protect the public interest, which is my duty as a Council member and a duty of the College.

I will perform the duties of my position without favour or ill will to any person or entity.

I will ensure that other memberships, directorships, voluntary or paid positions or affiliations that I may hold will not interfere or conflict with the performance of my duties as a Council member.

So help me God.

(The last line is omitted in an affirmation.)

Questions and Answers

Looking to run in the 2021 Council election? Have someone else in mind to nominate? Wondering whom you can vote for?

The following series of frequently asked questions and answers will address some of your most common queries.

If you're thinking about running or nominating someone to stand for office, it's best to begin early. It can take a little time to obtain the right nominators to properly complete and submit your nomination. The good news is that you can  apply online at your own pace.

We'll also send election updates to all Your College and You subscribers. If you haven't already, please sign up in the  Members' Area on to get on the list.

Council has a duty to serve the public interest

The College exists to regulate Ontario's teaching profession so that the public can be confident that practitioners put students' well-being and academic success first.

Elected and publicly appointed Council members — teachers, administrators, parents and others — make decisions as a Council based on the public's shared interest in supporting students and strengthening the profession.

To describe their understanding of that duty, candidates must include a statement in their nomination packages that describes what they believe it means to serve and protect the public interest. Candidates must also disclose whether they hold any elected or appointed position in one of 13 excluded organizations and to attest that they will resign from that position if they are elected.

Council members put their service to the public above all other interests. Accordingly, each member of Council is required to take an oath of office or affirmation and promise in writing not to take direction from any other organization. Those elected will also be required to report, in writing to the Registrar, all funding they may have received related to the election process, including amounts and sources.

Cast your votes electronically

You can vote electronically to elect members to the ninth Council — provided you are a member in good standing with the College as of 5 p.m. EST on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

The election will be conducted entirely online via the Members' Area of the College website. You can vote there or via the College's app

It's simple: Log in to your Members' Area account from the main page of the College website and follow the instructions. If you have not opened an account, you can do so now. Just visit the Members' Area.

Election ballots will be available in the Members' Area from 9 a.m. EST on March 8, 2021 until 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 12, 2021, after which the voting function will be removed. You will have access to a ballot that includes all of the positions for which you are eligible to vote.

Ballots will be tabulated and verified on April 13, 2021, and the results will be posted to the College website on April 14, 2021.

Submit Your Nominations Electronically

You can submit your nomination electronically through a simple online process. 

Nominations are due before 5 p.m. EST on Friday, November 27, 2020. You can start the process as early as August 18, 2020, by creating an account

That account will allow you to prepare and compile the information you need for your application — at your own pace and when your schedule allows. Simply follow the instructions for each step. 

You can edit your biography, upload your photo, start collecting information about your minimum of 10 nominators, decide how you want to share your understanding with voters about the duty to serve and protect the public interest. 

Once all the pieces are complete, press "Submit" and your nomination package will be sent to the College. You will receive an automatic response confirming it has been received, and you will hear within 10 business days whether you are a confirmed candidate. 

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